Sun Tzu and the Art of Modern Warfare

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9780195161083: Sun Tzu and the Art of Modern Warfare

Long acknowledged as a classic text on strategy, Sun Tzu's The Art of War has been admired by leaders as diverse as Mao Zedong and General Norman Schwartzkopf. However, written two thousand years ago, the book can be somewhat daunting to the modern reader.

Now Mark McNeilly, author of Sun Tzu and the Art of Business, which made Sun Tzu accessible to the business executive, has extracted the six concepts most applicable to modern warfare, making them easy to understand and apply to military situations. Drawing on a wealth of fascinating historical examples, McNeilly shows how these six principles might be used in wars of the future-both conventional wars and terrorist conflicts-and how they can provide insight into current affairs, such as the war on terrorism and China's increasingly important strategic and military role in the world. In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, McNeilly has written a new chapter for this paperback edition, which addresses how Sun Tzu's ideas can be applied to the war on terrorism. He also describes how to win the information war, how to lead by example, and how to use alliances to defeat the opponent.

Including the full text of The Art of War in the popular translation by Samuel Griffith, with cross-references to quotations used in the book, Sun Tzu and the Art of Modern Warfare unlocks these elusive secrets for anyone interested in strategy and warfare, whether they are professional soldiers, military history buffs, or business executives.

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Review:

"When the strike of a hawk breaks the body of its prey, it is because of timing." So wrote the Chinese strategist Sun Tzu more than two millennia ago in the text that has come to be known as The Art of War, one that guides military planners to this day. Former infantry officer Mark McNeilly examines the lessons of Sun Tzu's book not metaphorically, as he did for the boardroom in his Sun Tzu and the Art of Business, but literally, considering its dicta on such matters as the necessity of speedy action and solid leadership in the light of real battles and campaigns throughout history--and those yet to be fought. For instance, McNeilly looks at the Allied victory over Iraq in the light of Sun Tzu's pronouncement, "Just as flowing water avoids the heights and hastens to the lowlands, so an army avoids strength and strikes weakness." Matching intelligent commentary with a complete text of Sun Tzu's classic, McNeilly's book is of much interest to students of military history and current events alike. --Gregory McNamee

About the Author:


Mark McNeilly is the author of Sun Tzu and the Art of Business: Six Strategic Principles for Managers. He is an amateur military historian and appeared as a guest speaker in the History Channel special on Sun Tzu's Art of War. A Lecturer at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and former business executive, Mark served as a reserve officer in the infantry and artillery in U.S. Army National Guard from 1981-1987.

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